Julie's Quest

Hello, and welcome to my blog. My blog is about the trials and tribulations of writing, where we celebrate successes and commiserate our near misses. We tell it like it is here and will do our very best to help you on the road to being published and pick you up after the rejections (they will come!) Whether you are a professional or amateur writer you will find something useful here.

I hope you enjoy reading my posts and will visit again soon.

Happy Writing

Julie Phillips - freelance writer - member of the Association of Freelance Writers - member of the Society of Authors

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Piff Paff Puff!

Do you ever wish you could just put all the ingredients of your short story: character, problem, goals, humour, dialogue, fantastic beginning and knock 'em dead ending into a magicians hat and wave your pen like a magic wand, whisper the magic words and BANG! As if by magic out pops your wonderful fully formed, all singing and dancing short story that no editor can refuse like a sweet bouquet of flowers!

I was bemoaning the fact today to a writing buddy how I'd written and submitted 40 short stories to the women's magazines last year and only had one published! But what she said gave me a light bulb moment. She said "But that sounds pretty normal." PING! And she's right! I'm not the only one who has gone down this road and I won't be the last. It cleared me out of the doldrums and I feel ready to set sail on the sea of fiction in my good ship Julie's Quest! There are no magic spells that can conjure up successful short stories for you - only hard work and many, many, many rejections that you learn from can do that.

I knew a visit to Wenlock books for a writing stint followed by lunch would get my creativity going again. My tum's a bit delicate still but I'm getting there. We sat up around the big old round table upstairs: my buddy tapping on her laptop and me scribbling in my moleskine notebook. We were treated to a cuppa at the book shop and as the snow fell outside we were all cosy by the heater!  There's just something about this wonderful shop and building that is so conducive to writing - it's incredible! And just what I needed. I love getting out and about with other writers when I can - it's good to air our troubles with our writing and our successes face to face. It's guarenteed to lift your spirits and get the flow going with your writing.

My buddy was looking at a poem she's written for the OU course she's doing and the commentary for it and I made notes on an article I'd been asked to rewrite and I looked at where I could change it to fit the editor's brief.  I also had three ideas for short stories which I noted down using Swain's format. I will write them up over the coming weeks and start sending short stories out again (something I haven't done since before Christmas). I also wrote a mind map for a poem I'd been wanting to write since an image captured my attention at my daughter's school  a month ago and it's stayed in my head so obviously  my inner writing self wants me to do something with it!

So a productive morning for both of us. It's worth getting out and writing in different venues when you can  as I think it's good for our writing soul. So whenever anyone has some free time in the local area contact me and we'll hop off for some writing time! It works for me. I'm hoping to make it a regular thing - do a tour of the bookshops who have room for writers to write! I'm sure our writing will thank us for it.

Wrekin Writers meeting on Saturday too (hoping snow stops way before then) it's our first meeting since Christmas - the January meeting having been cancelled due to the snow. I've missed everyone and I'm dying to catch up with everyone!

Julie xx


klahanie said...

Hi Julie,
What works for me, or some might argue, doesn't work for me; is sometimes just having a title in my head and going from there. Or, if I'm very lucky, 'the wee folks' allow me a photo opportunity that gives me an idea for a short story.
Sometimes I will have a 'brainstorm' (or is it a light drizzle? lol) and scribble down a thought when I'm out and about.
Anyway, I wish you well in getting your articles published. If writing in different venues fires your imagination; then that is fantastic.
Kind wishes and respect, Gary x

Julie P said...

Hi, Gary, and thank you for your most welcome comments. I think inspiration for short stories come to me in a variety of ways. Sometimes I have a flood of ideas just before I go to sleep at night, or I wake up in the middle of the night scribbling the ideas down! I might overhear something someone said and that will spark an idea - or I'll read something in a book, mag or newspaper,or see a picture or something outside and that will do it.

I love to write in diffrent places so that I don't become too dependent on one space and feel I can only write when I am there.It's great fun and a change is as good as a rest!

How are the wee people?

Julie xx

klahanie said...

Hi Julie,
The 'wee folks' have become friends with our Jack Russell, Penny. They all seem to be very happy and getting along just great. Which reminds me....hmmm...better write something down :-)
Always a pleasure to read one of your highly informative blogs.
Gary x

Suzanne Jones said...

I'm so glad you're feeling better and it sounds like you had a lovely day.

And if you ever find that 'piff paff puff' short story magic spell please bottle it and put my name down for some.